February 2015
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Message from the RAP Coordinator
Owls, ducks, Passenger Pigeons, oh my!  Beat those February winter blues by attending one of the many great events listed below. And time is running out to register for our free movie event - we hope to see you there!

As always, we love to hear from you. If you have any upcoming events, questions, or feedback, please email postmaster@detroitriver.ca.   


Claire Sanders

Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  

Detroit River Canadian Cleanup 

Annual Film Screening: Reserve your spot now!
February 26, 2015: 7:00pm

Lakeshore Cinemas, 164 Commercial Blvd, Tecumseh

The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup is hosting its 6th annual film screening on Thursday, February 26! Please join us at Lakeshore Cinemas for a free screening of the award-winning film, From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. 
This award-winning film follows author Joel Greenberg as he reveals the compelling story of the Passenger Pigeon extinction, and the striking relevance of the bird's demise to conservation issues today. After the screening, learn more about some of the fish and wildlife species that call the Detroit River 'home' and what the DRCC partnership is doing to help them.

Doors open at 7:00pm, and the film will begin at 7:30. Admission is free a
nd everyone is welcome! Registration is required; to register, please call 3-1-1 (Windsor) or 519-225-2489 (County) by February 25th, 2015. Max. 4 seats per caller.

(**Please note location change from previous years due to a change in screen rental pricing**) 
A preview of the video can be found here: http://vimeo.com/91863820
ACTION: Creating and Restoring Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Check out Environment Canada's Great Lakes website for a new edition of their ACTION newsletter on Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern. For this edition, they have revamped both the format and the focus of the newsletter. ACTION now focuses on projects that have been supported by the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (GLSF). The new Fall 2014 edition presents short articles on five projects:
  • Tracking the Seasonal Movements of Walleye: Kaministiquia River, Thunder Bay
  • Creating and Restoring Fish and Wildlife Habitat: Detroit River and Its Tributaries
  • Converting Farmland to Habitat in a Rare Canadian Ecosystem: Bowens Creek
  • Reducing Runoff to Improve Water Quality and Protect Habitat: Welland River
  • Restoring One of Canada's Biologically Richest Locations: Cootes Paradise Marsh

ACTION can be viewed in English and in French.

Eastern Foxsnake (photo credit: Environment Canada).
Detroit River Christmas Bird Count Results and More
Christmas Bird Count Detroit River, Ontario Side Results
Report submitted by Paul Pratt
On January 1st, 2015, 21 volunteers scoured the Canadian side of the Detroit River for the annual Christmas Bird Count. Despite the cold, harsh wind, they managed to turn up 59 different species of birds in just over 4 hours! Here is a full list of birds seen that day with the number of individuals noted in brackets:

Canada Goose (818), Mute Swan (28), Tundra Swan (15), American Black Duck (4), Mallard (272), Canvasback (109), Redhead (23), Ring-necked Duck (3), Greater Scaup (10), Lesser Scaup (1), Common Goldeneye (19), Hooded Merganser (12), Common Merganser (37), Ruddy Duck (1), Ring-necked Pheasant  (2), Wild Turkey (50), Great Blue Heron (1), Bald Eagle (3), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1), Cooper's Hawk (2), Red-shouldered Hawk (1), Red-tailed Hawk (14), American Kestrel (3), Peregrine Falcon (1), Ring-billed Gull (95), Herring Gull (43), Great Black-backed Gull (4), Rock Dove (741), Mourning Dove (70), Great Horned Owl (3), Eastern Screech-Owl (2), Belted Kingfisher (1), Red-bellied Woodpecker (12), Downy Woodpecker (63), Hairy Woodpecker (2), Blue Jay (81), American Crow (12), Black-capped Chickadee (69),Tufted Titmouse (28), Red-breasted Nuthatch (1), White-breasted Nuthatch (28), Brown Creeper (1), Carolina Wren (1), Golden-crowned Kinglet (8), Eastern Bluebird (8), American Robin (11), European Starling (170), American Tree Sparrow (90), Fox Sparrow (1), Song Sparrow (2), White-throated Sparrow (7), White-crowned Sparrow (7), Dark-eyed Junco (312), Northern Cardinal (90), Red-winged Blackbird (2), House Finch (22), Pine Siskin (4), American Goldfinch (126), House Sparrow (695) 
Kory Renaud's Essex County Field Naturalists' Walk at Lakeview Marina
January 4th, 2015 
Male Northern Cardinal (photo credit: Kory Renaud).
The forecasted rain, snow and wind held off for us and the sun even poked out for a few minutes. A total of 33 species were counted between the marina, Sandpoint Beach and the Little River park area. Highlights included 8 species of ducks, 6 Bald Eagles, 3 Great Blue Herons, 2 cooperative Carolina Wrens that put on a show, and a Belted Kingfisher. View the complete eBird checklists - here, here, and here     

Observation of Wild Turkey

Date: Saturday, December 27, 2014

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Weather: 9°C and cloudy

Location: corner of St. Thomas Street and Woodridge Drive, Town of Tecumseh


This was an extraordinary observation in our serene, suburban neighbourhood. My neighbour across the street knocked on my door and excitedly said, "Come on out and see the turkeys beside your house!" I thought it was a joke, but just in case, I ran and got my shoes; out the front door I flew. To my amazement, six Wild Turkeys were walking on the boulevard beside our home! My neighbour told me he saw them jump over the fence of a home down St. Thomas Street. Because of our presence on Woodridge Drive, the rafter of turkeys paraded around us and walked along the middle of St. Thomas Street. Cars on the road stopped and drivers were delighted to see the flock of birds. These wanderers were wary of the traffic and gaggle of people, so they scurried to the safety of the grassy area of the boulevard. The cautious hens sprinted and flew eastward along St. Thomas towards Centennial Drive, turned the corner and ambled north.


Another neighbour stopped his truck and told us these turkeys have been seen roving around town for the past 6 months. He said he had seen them on the west side of Lesperance Road. I'm thinking they're using the Blue Heron/East Riverside natural area to survive and visit local bird feeders in backyards. They eat seeds, snails, nuts and insects, so bird feeders must be providing some winter food.


Wild turkeys were reintroduced into Southern Ontario by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry beginning in 1983. I believe MNRF introduced the birds to the Essex Region in the late 1990's. It appears they have successfully adapted to the habitat in East Windsor and Tecumseh. Usually, these birds prefer woodland areas with open fields and edge habitat. They require mature trees to roost in at night time for protection. It is quite surprising to see turkeys in a suburban setting of homes, lawns and streets. Evidently, these Wild Turkey hens are comfortable rambling about Tecumseh Town, especially after Christmas Day supper!

Ian Naisbitt
Co-Chair, DRCC Education and Public Involvement Work Group
Chair, Little River Enhancement Group
IJC Wants You to Test Your Knowledge and Win a 'Valuable Prize'!

The Great Lakes basin is the world's greatest freshwater ecosystem, containing nearly 18 percent of the planet's surface freshwater and providing tens of millions of Canadians and Americans with abundant drinking water, recreational opportunities and ecosystem services that keep us healthy and happy.

The International Joint Commission helps the governments of both nations keep Great Lakes waters clean by providing guidance, advice, and the best available science to manage these shared waters.

To spread the word about the importance of the Great Lakes, the IJC is challenging all comers to an online Trivia Challenge. They' re planning more challenges for later this year about other basins they cover, from west to east. The first installment is here. And, yes, there is a valuable prize involved!    
Conservation Award Winners Recognized by ERCA
The Essex Region Conservation Authority recognized organizations and individuals that have made significant contributions to the region's sustainability with the 2014 Conservation Awards at their Annual General Meeting on January 22.

"It is important to recognize and thank those who work vigilantly at creating a healthier environment in the Windsor-Essex region," said ERCA Chair Ed Sleiman.


Charles Desmarais of Stoney Point received the Conservation Farm Award for his ongoing stewardship of the land. Gertrude Paré was the recipient of the John R. Park Homestead Award for her preservation of traditional arts and Franco-Ontarien culture. Don Bissonnette, a leader in the protection of the Eastern Bluebird for over 25 years, was recognized for his volunteer efforts and the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club was honoured for three decades of commitment to volunteerism and environmental sustainability.

Nicole Palazzi, a teacher at WD Davis Public School, received an award for leadership in conservation education, and Caesars Windsor CodeGreen was lauded for their many environmental outreach and education initiatives that include their employees, guests and the broader community.


Mr. Gino Piccioni of Timberland Homes and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation were recognized with awards for Environmental Achievement. Mr. Piccioni has demonstrated his commitment to the environment and community through the preservation and enhancement of the Turkey Creek wetlands. He was also the developer of the first Energy Star community in the region. Over the past five years alone, the TD FEF has contributed $400,000 to more than 100 environmental projects in the Windsor-Essex region, many of which would not otherwise have been able to take place.


The Town of Lakeshore was awarded the Robert Pulleyblank Award for Municipal Environmental Achievement. The Town has significantly invested in environmental improvements over the past few years, including upgrades to its drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, waterfront improvement and rehabilitation, and re-greening efforts. Kris Ives, ERCA's Curator/Education Coordinator, and former DRCC RAP Assistant, was honoured with the Dennis Chase Staff Award for joy, optimism and love of local conservation.


 ERCA has published its 2014 Annual Report. Here's a short video of the year's highlights:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3MYQMEj25M  


Conservation Award Winners, from left: Gino Piccioni, Kris Ives, Don Bissonnette, Jesse Gardner Costa, President-Essex County Field Natualists' Club, Gertrude Paré, Tracy Sansom, TD Bank Manager (LaSalle), Kelly Laforest and Kelly Gregoire, Caesars Windsor, Nicole Palazzi, Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain and Councillor Dave Monk (courtesy of ERCA).
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

The Detroit River in the news....here are some relevant, external links to news articles that may pique your interest. Click on the link to read on.
Upcoming Events
Save the date for these great local events! Please ensure you contact the organizer for more information.


February 7, 2015: 10:00am-3:00pm

Belle Isle, Michigan


This family-friendly event on the Detroit River features something for everyone. It includes exhibits and children's activities, Bobkat caricaturesMagic John Children's Magician, Belle Isle updates, Coast Guard Ice Rescue Demonstrations, refreshments and more! For more information, visit http://www.detroitriver.org/.


February 8, 2015: 1:00pm

Lakeview Park Marina, Windsor


Meet Essex County Field Naturalists' Club member, Paul DesJardins, at 1:00pm at the Lakeview Park Marina across from Peche Island at the end of Riverdale Avenue for a waterfowl hike. Everyone is welcome! For more information: http://essexcountynature.com/contact-us/.


February 11, 2015: 7:00pm-9:00pm

Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Amherstburg


Come out to Holiday Beach Conservation Area and enjoy an evening learning about the owls of Ontario, their adaptations, calls, and behaviour, presented by Caroline Biribauer, Outreach Coordinator with the Essex Region Conservation Authority. Weather permitting, participants will take a guided walk through the woods looking and listening for owls. To register, visit http://owlprowlholidaybeach.eventbrite.ca. For more information, contact Caroline at cbiribauer@erca.org or 519-776-5209, ext. 245.


February 11, 2015: 7:30pm

Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor


Tom Preney and Steve "the snake guy" Marks will present to the group on their adventures in South Florida on a "herping" trip. Silent auction and refreshments will follow the meeting. Everyone is welcome! For more information: http://essexcountynature.com/contact-us/.


February 18, 2015: 7:30pm

Canada South Science City, 930 Marion Avenue, Windsor


A free public forum on science research and its importance in our lives, presented by well-known research scientists. Light refreshments will be served.


February 24, 2015: 6:30pm-8:00pm

Essex County Civic Centre, 360 Fairview Avenue West, Essex


This exciting and dynamic workshop will discuss ways in which you can get involved in the reforestation of Essex County. Learn about the environmental benefits of tree planting, grants and financial assistance to landowners for planting trees, the different tree planting techniques and the ways to care for your future forests and special shade trees. The workshop is free but pre-registration is required: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/tree-planting-care-workshop-tickets-15046670998. For more information, contact Vivian at vkennedy@erca.org
 or 519-776-5209, ext. 345.


ERCA is now accepting orders, with a deadline of March 6, 2015. The cost of seedling trees begins at 69 cents, while prices for large stock trees begin at $13. A minimum purchase of 100 seedlings or 15 large stock trees is required. Get more information here

March 1, 2015: 11:00am-4:00pm

John R. Park Homestead, Harrow

Join us at the historic John R. Park Homestead for Essex County's only Maple Syrup Festival. Make maple taffy in the snow, see syrup being made the pioneer way, and learn the science of maple. New this year, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada with a flag flown on Parliament Hill on February 15, 1965. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children (3-16), with a family maximum of $20 total. For more information, contact Kris at kives@erca.org.
Job Postings
These postings are for jobs at various locations with varying deadlines. Please click on the job title to view job details. Contact the listed agency in the job ad for more information.Note: the links will expire after the deadline has passed.